WaneS2_Header

Podcast of Champions. Annual meeting of the Wildcats & Buffaloes

It’s good to have friends in high places. You’ve surely talked about it at a Karaoke Bar a time or two (I know I have), and in this instance I’ve spoken with these friends, in bars, in high places. Ben Burrows – the sage behind the Rumblings of a Deranged Buffalo – and Ryan Koenigsberg – CU and Broncos beat writer at BSN Denver – have been frenemies since this blog’s inception. I’ll focus on the former considering they joined Spencer and I to talk about the things we talk about and discuss tonight’s battle between our respective favorite schools. It’s a podcast that covers a lot in a lot of time, but worth the listen. Also worth your while, Ben’s preview of the game.

To all ye Buffs and Cats tonight: good luck and play nice and use the right restroom at the Dark Horse.

BONUS MATERIAL: My brief thoughts on this Arizona-Colorado game!

This thing boils down to who can take care of the basketball. Elementary? Perhaps. But neither CU nor Arizona has demonstrated a propensity to take care of the basketball. The Buffs, in fact, rank 268th in TO% – a good reason why the Buffs yield the 11th shortest offensive possessions in the country (nearly one-quarter of offense against CU comes in transition; a shot type Arizona has connected on with great efficiency). Neither defense has a propensity for creating turnovers so it would appear this is a self-controlled part of the game.

Another callout here is rebounding. I’m going to quote the afforementioned Ben Burrows on this one:

Whereas Colorado focuses on rebounding out of want, Arizona clutches at boards the same way a suffocating man lurches out for gulps of oxygen; they need them to live (or, as I wrote in this week’s Grab Bag: what defensive line play is to Alabama in football, rebounding the damn basketball is to Arizona in hoops).

He’s right. For the second consecutive year Arizona is the top defensive rebounding team in the nation. Also, take into consideration that four year starter and constant of these rebounding machines, Kaleb Tarczewski, has 59 rebounds in his last 5 games and it would seem Arizona is only getting better at their best feature.

The Key for the Buffs will be making their threes. They’ve been good at it, connecting on nearly 40% of those tries, but it seems they’re starting to live and die by that shot. Inside the arc, CU ranks 325th in FG%. That’s not good and when you consider that Arizona forces the second highest percentage of mid-range jumpers in the nation, well then you must consider that Colorado needs its threes.

One final thought: remember that it’s a Wear Black Game and not a Blackout.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 11.02.53 PM

Week 15 PacHoops Pac-12 Power Rankings. All Quiet on the Western Front.

I spent the Pac-12 week on the East Coast and I maintain a West Coast bias. That said, it was mostly quiet on the Western Front as the conference’s top-4 teams established themselves as…the top-4 teams. Of course Utah asserted themselves on the road and Cal did something they’d never done before. We’re 2 weeks away from some definitive answers but I’m not comfortable pretending like I know anything.

Power:

1a. Oregon

Continue reading

WaneS2_Header

Podcast of Champions. Is this Pac-12 Overrated?

Sure it’s a loaded question and yes it will ultimately be judged by the number of bids and then the subsequent tournament success of those bids. That’s well and good. Tried and true. But right now – in mid-February – what direction does the Pac-12 seem to be heading? One metric says this, another that, and Spencer and I were curious if the Pac’s overrated (as some writers have suggested).

Give it a listen (and a subscription):

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.28.36 PM

Week 14 PacHoops Pac-12 Power Rankings. And the Dunk Contest.

While the Power Rankings are getting harder and harder to build, the Dunk Contest (and even parts of the skills competition) were chalk full of Pac-12 representation. And its less about who won the subjective award, but more about ohmahgawd what’d he just do moments. There was plenty of it (and Oregon got swept in the Bay).

Alas, we find ourselves with co-leaders heading into the homestretch and I find myself in sub-zero temperatures in Boston, MA. I watched a lot of movies over the long weekend.

Power:

1. Arizona

Continue reading

WaneS2_Header

Podcast of Champions. Sarah Kezele and a Valentine’s theme

This week’s guest – a favorite – has long been associated with the Pac-12 Conference. Sarah Kezele grew up in Arizona, attended its finest university, and worked at the Conference’s main offices before helping to launch its network. Then she worked for Arizona’s biggest newspaper, the Arizona Republic (which I was once featured on the Sports Section’s cover page, NBD), and has now moved to be Campus Insider’s WCC correspondent. Sarah joins the podcast formerly known as WANE (we are not experts) as a clear expert. She’s really the best.

What’s unique to this podcast, however, is it’s Valentine’s Day theme. Spencer and I are both single and the closest to a gift we’ll receive is an Arizona sweep of the LA schools. The closest to a gift we’ll give is this podcast, to you, with Valentine analogies for every Pac-12 team.

Listen. Enjoy. Subscribe.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 11.09.02 PM

Week 13 PacHoops Pac-12 Power Rankings: Super Bowl Excuses

I got credentialed to last year’s Pac-12 tournament. It was awesome and in that wonderful first day of basketball, USC knocked off the fifth seeded Sun Devils. It was USC’s sixth win over a conference opponent in two years and it came at the hands of my behated (word?) Devils. I don’t know if you “have” schadenfreude or wish it or feel it but knowing what the German word translates to, that’s what I have/feel/wish for ASU. Until I had to go into that presser and listen to sixth-year senior Shaq McKissic talk about the game. To listen to Bo Barnes explain how the shittiest team in the Pac-12 could erase a 14-point lead in the game’s final ten minutes was miserable. All the ill I’d have ever wished on the Sun Devils was manifesting but the moment’s cruel reality was that I had to see what my schadenfreude created. I wanted nothing to do with it. It looked awful. They answered their questions with red eyes, barely audible, then left the stage. I felt for them. It wasn’t the stakes of the Super Bowl but those red eyes suggested otherwise. Josh Norman. Cam didn’t answer a few questions. I’m pretty much OK with it.

Power:

1. Oregon

Continue reading

WaneS2_Header

Podcast of Champions. Zach Rosenblatt of the Daily Star & awards

Throughout this episode, Spencer is going to knock our mid-season awards but we’ve got some good nuggets in there. Zack Rosenblatt of the Arizona Daily Star joins us (he’s a friend of the friends). The Tucson-local writer is knee deep in college football recruiting (today is National Signing Day) and so – being the topical fellows that we are – we discuss a touch of that. We also dive into Pac-12 awards because we’re at the conference season’s mid-way point. Makes sense.

Enjoy the pod:

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: Dillon Brooks #24 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates a three point basket in the first half during a game against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams at the Barclays Center on November 25, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Week 12 PacHoops Pac-12 Power Rankings: Halfway home.

It took the ending of a 49-game home win streak to avoid having a 6-way tie for first place. It’s that kind of year in the Pac-12. Yet as far as I can tell, no one in Eugene cares. We’re halfway home and despite all the crazy talk this one feels pretty wrapped up. Maybe I’m crazy but Oregon seems the best, Utah seems the hottest, and WSU seems the worst. Maybe those are my mid-season superlatives with a hat-tip to Andrew Andrews.

Power:

1. Oregon

Continue reading

WaneS2_Header

Podcast of Champions. The Dawgs will have their day.

We got together with old friend of the pod and real friend in real life, Jamie, to chat during Utah’s home (shocker) win over Cal. Having noted that fact, be warned that there are asides to discuss Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Sam Singer, Brandon Taylor as well as the game’s score. No spoilers, the contest is over. We also dove into the impending reality of the Washington Huskies, which unblemished home team will stumble first, Spencer’s heated take on court storming, an aside to the national scope of CBB, and a tangent on court appearances.

Per usual: subscribe on iTunes and feel free to tweet me ANY of your concerns, questions, or dreams.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 11.02.53 PM

Week 11 PacHoops Pac-12 Power Rankings: FIRST ROAD SWEEP

I got to watch live Pac-12 basketball this weekend which was a treat. I would’ve had a prelude to the first of my two live events – ASU @ Cal – from Palo Alto’s Old Pro but Dad forgot the tickets. Sorry if I missed you there. But as far as weekend expectations go, that wasn’t the most surprising transgression. Utah earned the conference’s first road sweep on their trip to the PNW. Jakob won the Pac-12’s Player of the Week honor though I’d have given it to Pops despite the ticket gaffe. We’ve got a new #1 and the live LA SportsCenter is remarkably bad.

Power:

1. Oregon

Continue reading